Gender stereotypes portrayed in the advertisement of products bring out the comical side of people addressing a real issue in a light-hearted way. When the pen company, BIC, began selling pens targeting female consumers by labeling them “BIC for Her,” they reinforced gender stereotypes that women are fragile and need a gentle, slim design and femininity is marked by soft colors such as lavender and pink.
In specifying which gender the pens are for, BIC reinforces the capitalist heteropatriarchy. By responding with satirical comments aimed towards shaming the pen company, the Amazon reviewers are challenging these stereotypes and proving that our society today is moving past the restricting gender roles of the past, making them seem outdated.
Female commenters teased the product by suggesting that by using the pens, they somehow became more feminine. They also stated that the pens made them feel the need to buy into their gender roles even more by “providing their significant others with children and drinking lavender tea.” Male Amazon users also responded to the product; one of them teased that a man who accidentally used one of the pens “for Her,” became more feminine, and “began to worry about his hair.”
Consumers realize that many gender stereotypes are outdated and unacceptable, so it’s time that advertisers get the hint and stop marketing products towards specific genders.